'There can't be wholesale changes in the collegium system': SC

Last Updated : 03 November 2015, 13:28 IST
Last Updated : 03 November 2015, 13:28 IST

Follow Us :


The Supreme Court today ruled out making "wholesale changes" in the collegium system of appointment of judges for higher judciary but expressed its willingness to evolve a greater transparency "within the existing parameters".

"There can't be wholesale changes in the collegium system. It has to be within the existing parameters," a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice J S Khehar said while elaborating about the "tremendous" and "diverse nature" of "unimaginable" suggestions received by the apex court after the landmark judgement of October 16 quashing the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act.

"There are so many suggestions. They are so diverse in nature that we don't know how to proceed in the matter. The diversity is tremendous, unimaginable. It is not possible for us to say we accept this suggestion or deny the other.

"Instead it would be better if someone from both sides (petitioners who challenged the NJAC and the government) compiles these suggestions for us. The good minds may sit together and can come out with something final," the bench, also comprising Justices J Chelameswar, M B Lokur, Kurian Joseph and A K Goel, said while posting further hearing for Thursday.

After two-hours of hearing in a jam-packed courtroom which also witnessed a drama with a Mumbai-based advocate complaining in high pitch why he was not allowed to address the bench and some lawyers lawyers criticising it for hurrying through what they considered a historic moment to bring transparency in judicial appointments.

They suggested that public comments should instead be invited on the official website so that even "a man from Kanyakumari" gets a chance to participate.

Before rising for the day, the bench took into account the suggestions of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and other senior advocates including K K Venugopal, who had argued for replacing the collegium system during the NJAC matter and those against the NJAC which included Senior counsel like Fali Nariman, Anil Divan, Rajeev Dhawan, Arvind Dattar and Gopal Subramaniam.

Finally, the bench evolved a consensus that there was need for suggestions on four aspects -- transparency, need for eligibility criteria for appointment of judges, establishment of a secretariat for the collegium and evolving a mechanism of complaint redressal in collegium.

The bench put the responsibility on Dattar and Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand to compile the suggestions which will also include those received by the apex court after the NJAC judgement.

"We are all on one side," the bench said making it clear that it was with the lawyer fraternity to bring out greater transparency in the collegium system of appointment of judges.

"It is not going to be a wholesale change. It is not going to be a big which emerges from the mails which we have received. Everybody is interested in putting good footfalls but how to go is the thing that is to be decided," the bench said.

Published 03 November 2015, 09:33 IST

Deccan Herald is on WhatsApp Channels | Join now for Breaking News & Editor's Picks

Follow us on :

Follow Us